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Commercial aviation and the Icelandic ash cloud

20 April, 2010

Whilst I am deeply sympathetic for the people stranded on either side of the Atlantic and other places affected by the currently active Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland I am not so sympathetic towards the commercial airline operators who are crying that if the crisis doesn’t end soon they may go out of business.

If they don’t have plans in place to tide them over during situations like this then that’s their fault. It’s the aviation industry’s fault that they’ve allowed the market to drive down prices to such a narrow margin that they are unable to set aside contingency money and run such a high-risk business that any upset can see them wrap up operations in a matter of weeks. If it wasn’t a volcano it’d be floods, or earthquakes, or terrorism or war.

Things go wrong and responsible business operators anticipate and prepare to survive such things. Seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

As a contractor it is entirely my responsibility to set aside money to ensure I can pay the bills when I need to take a week off work due to sickness or when I’m unemployed for several months between jobs. My responsibility entirely. I get paid an hourly rate that takes that into consideration.

Business should have the same attitude.

I am highly dubious that airlines have plans in place. Just look at how passengers who are stranded overnight at an airport due to a single flight cancellation are often treated? Airlines have no idea what to do, no infrastructure in place and just leave passengers to fend for themselves.

Whilst we will all suffer if airlines go out of business at the end of the day if they aren’t running their business responsibly then there’s no place for them in the market.

And don’t get me started on the GFC …

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2 comments

  1. that was my first thought exactly when I head them say some might go out of business


  2. Insurance companies are rubbing their hands with glee though.



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